Well. It’s been a hot minute. But here we are.
When I first started blogging, I remember reading posts that folks had written after writing absences. These posts usually began with the blogger declaring that they were, indeed, alive. When I read these caveats I would feel a pang of guilt because in all honesty, I hadn’t really noticed their absence; I don’t know whether that’s a byproduct of the over-scheduled, overstimulated era we’re living in or just a testament to my own self absorption, although it’s probably a combination of the two. But I remember wondering why, if so much time had lapsed between blog posts, one would break their silence with an apology. I mean, if your bandwidth was spread so very thin, shouldn’t you just jump right back in as if no time had passed at all?
- Obviously you’re alive.
- Obviously a couple people care. BUT.
- Obviously most people don’t care. And that’s OK. There are a lot of us, and we can’t care about everyone equally.
I am beginning to understand that we say we’re alive not because we’re particularly interested in telling other people, but because we want to tell ourselves. We want to put those words out there because we, the Alive Alivers, need to hear them.
The last time I wrote was in May. That’s saying something considering that I used to post 2-3 times a week. Life has been full, but not necessarily in a good way. I’m trying to come up with a list of all the things that inhibited me from writing like I knew I needed to be. Here goes:
- My husband was looking for a new job. The level of stress I underwent during this time cannot be understated. We’ve been down this road before, but this time it was way more intense because C now goes to school (yeah, that’s a thing that you missed. That baby that was born a few years ago goes to school now. Heh.) and we had to make tuition. She got into an amazing pre-K program back in January – one of those programs where parents joke about putting their babies on the list before they’re even born; well, we put C on the list back in November and she still got in. Long summer short: he got a job that he loves, but the stress of the job search was…rough. All summer long, there was a palpable nervous tension that trickled down to nearly every facet of our lives. C felt it too, and in all honesty, we weren’t the best parents we needed to be to her when she started acting out in frustration.
- My work life was insane and draining. Here’s a thing that happened: I randomly interviewed for a position at an incredible, much-lauded for-profit firm over the summer. When they contacted me to interview, I was all LOL HAHA OK. But then I went in and the interview went, like, really well. So well that they offered me a job. They did this on the same day that B found out he hadn’t been offered a senior-level position a place where he had made it through the third round of interviews. It also happened to be his birthday. Also, the job I was offered would have been awesome had the salary not been less than I was currently making at my current workplace. Puking in bags occurred. Disappointment abounded.
- We moved. Every single time we move, I’m like NEVER AGAIN. It is a major pain and it’s only gotten harder as C has gotten bigger. But we outgrew our old house so it was time to find a place that better suited our needs. That’s easier said than done, but we found it. It’s two minutes from C’s school, one minute from church, and it has an insanely huge kitchen. Like, the distance between the oven and the fridge is like walking the full length of a football field. This is of course good because now simply purveying food for my family burns calories. We moved in three weeks ago. Since B has zero PTO since he just started his new job, essentially all of the moving chores fell to me. C was a good assistant, though. We’re finally settling in and hitting our stride, just in time for Halloween.
- My kid is just hard. I was scrolling through all the posts I wrote about C last year when she was three, and the resounding theme to those posts is that tantrums are hard but par for the course when your kid is at a particular age. She is well into age four now and while the tantrums are less frequent and more predictable, over the summer they occurred with a regularity and fervency that was cause for concern. There was a period of a few months when my body would physically lock up on my way home from work every day because I didn’t know which Cee I would encounter when I got home: the C that was cooperative, fun, and rational, or the C that would scream, bite, and cry for hours if she was denied a cookie after dinner since she had a Popsicle in the middle of the day. Since all the recent changes in our lives, she seems to be doing better, but I’m now realizing that children do not age out of being hard. When she was a baby and a toddler and I wrote about the difficult aspects of parenting – moderating tantrums, sleeplessness, their self-centeredness – I did so with the naive levity of someone who believed parenting really would get easier. And it does in many ways – we all sleep through the night now – but to think that you will ever get to a place in parenting when things are 100% copacetic all the time is incorrect. Your kid is a person and she will present problems that you are not adequately equipped to solve. I have made mistakes with her and I will continue to do so. We will both have a-hole days. The thing that matters most is that she is completely and utterly confident in the fact that I love her, even despite our clashes, and that I am completely and utterly motivated to help her process difficult things that she’s not equipped to handle alone.
So that was my summer. Was writing going to happen? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.
There are some things we can hang our proverbial hats on. For me, those hats are earrings. (Stay with me.) Every single day since I got my ears pierced in the sixth or seventh grade, I have worn earrings. They make me feel like I’ve got my life together. I may not wear makeup and I may not wear clean underwear (JK I always wear clean underwear, mostly because I have children ergo do laundry 9,000 times a week), but I always wear earrings, even if they’re just studs. They make me feel like I have my life together. Everything else may be falling apart, but at least I remembered to wear jewelry on my ears. It’s just my thing.
When we were in the thick of this summer when everything was tense and miserable and disappointing, there was an afternoon that I drove home from work and realized I was not wearing earrings. I remember exactly what intersection I was at. My ear itched, I reached up to scratch it, and nothing was there. And I wept because I felt like my whole life was falling apart. (It’s amazing how depression and anxiety find new ways to lie to us.)
Maybe my life was falling apart, but I managed to put it back together because I have a husband who was weathering the storm too and who helped me hold it together. I had family, friends, and even coworkers who were there for me. All that time, we had people who were praying for us and lifting us up in ways that ran the full gamut.
I am an Alive Aliver.
And I am so glad to be back.